Parents and students also need to take a realistic look at college plans. No one disputes the need for advance education beyond high school to compete in today’s world. But one- or two-year vocational training may be as useful and more cost-effective for many. And students need to look critically at the potential job placement rates for majors they are considering.
For many high school graduates, some time off before college — earning and saving money, or working in AmeriCorps or the military — may be beneficial.
And most students attending college need to combine work with school. While the economy is still slow, part-time jobs are available.
Higher education is still likely to be the best investment students ever make. But doing everything possible to manage the long-term cost of that investment is imperative.